By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Precision Power (PPI), the popular amplifier brand of the early '90s, was purchased from Directed Electronics by Epsilon Electronics on Nov. 7 for an undisclosed sum.
Epsilon also owns brands including Power Acoustik, Farenheit, SPL, Kole Audio and Soundstream Technologies. The company said the purchase will help Epsilon bolster its high-end market presence. Epsilon VP Gene Norvell noted, "We've had some technologies we've wanted to bring forward related to sound quality. So we were thinking of bringing it out under Soundstream or another brand. PPI was a natural fit because it was always about its sound quality."
This new technology may be shown at International CES, Norvell said.
Directed purchased the brand at the end of 2001, along with the Orion and ADS brands, but was said to have focused on Orion at the expense of PPI. Norvell said, "I don't think Directed put the same focus on PPI as they did on Orion." Directed did not comment on this specific question.
Epsilon's aim is to "bring PPI back to the luster of the early '90s. and we certainly have the technologies to do that," Norvell continued.
The company will supply amplifiers and speakers initially, but could branch into other areas including electronics, Norvell said. It will also follow a path of limited distribution. Norvell could not state PPI's current number of retailers but said it was "not many."
Epsilon said it acquired PPI's existing inventory and is currently in the process "of going through that."
Directed has exited a number of businesses recently including the satellite-radio, mobile-video and car-locator markets. Mike Simmons, Directed Electronics president, said no other Directed brands are for sale at this time and no other category exits are planned apart from those already announced.
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